Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Texas House District 108

2-year term. Must be 25 years or older, a US citizen and a resident of Texas. Responsible for representing the citizens of his/her district in the US House of Representatives.

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  • Morgan Meyer

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    Joanna Cattanach

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Biographical Information

What do you consider the most critical issue Texas will face over the next five years? If elected, how would you approach this issue?

School finance in Texas has generated lots of talk but little legislation in recent years. What is your philosophy on the future of public school funding?

Do you believe America has a problem with gun violence? If so, how do you plan tackle it?

Congress and the President want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and have taken steps to dismantle it. What role should the government have when it comes to health insurance?

Texas adds about a thousand people a day. This rapid growth has caused several problems. What are the top three issues the government should address because of this growth?

As a Texan, what do you believe is missing from the conversation about immigration and border security? How would your beliefs influence your approach to those policies?

Describe a unique experience from your childhood that shaped who you are today.

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Age 37
Education BA: Political Science, Baylor University MA: International Journalism, Baylor University
Campaign Phone 469-619-7837
Website www.JoannaForTexas.com
Facebook @JoannaForTexas
Twitter @Joanna4Texas
website www.JoannaForTexas.com
contact Campaign Coordinator Annette Krause
Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0Kubu846tQ&t=14s
The strength of our economy will be an important issue for Texas over the next five years but our current state leadership threatens that stability. We are a state with a strong economy and we are a state facing real challenges to that economic strength including worker shortages in industries such as construction and healthcare, skyrocketing property taxes, a healthcare crisis, a need for basic criminal justice reform, as well as a critical need for school finance reform. We have leadership at the state and federal level that insists on forwarding bathroom bills and border walls and federal trade tariffs that undermine the economic stability of Texas. As a representative, I will work on bi-partisan bills and legislation that's smart for Texans and legislation that includes the real economic interests of our state not short sighted partisan efforts that will hurt our economy for years to come.
The state must increase its portion of school funding and stop the over reliance on property taxes. The state has failed to address public school finance reform as a whole and instead pushed the problem of outdated funding formulas and a broken Robin Hood system off again and again. In doing so, the legislature has abdicated its basic responsibility. We must address outdated funding formulas, must move away from voucher programs, and increase the state's portion of public school funding. As a teacher and tax payer in this state, not addressing the issue of school finance is no longer acceptable. My philosophy is simple--actually work to do something instead of working against the best interest of this district and this state. We know investment in the right areas such as pre-k and teacher pay work. It's time we had a teacher on the house floor, a public school parent, advocating for change and willing to work on day one with allies across the aisle for our public schools in Texas.
Yes, America has a problem with guns and violence. Proliferation of weapons, lack of universal background checks, and violence associated with guns as well as refusal to invest in state-wide safe storage campaigns, gun surrender programs for domestic violence offenders, and clear red flag laws have resulted in what should be called an epidemic of gun violence in America. I am endorsed by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I am a teacher in a state that now says guns in classrooms make us safer and I disagree. I will fight for red flag laws, increased background checks, increased mental health funding, and champion school safety and home safety. I grew up on a ranch in Central Texas, I know what it means to be a gun owner and that the first lesson is responsibility. As a teacher, I want students to be safe but not put guns in classes with kindergartners. Common sense gun laws and responsible ownership go hand in hand and I intend to keep all Texans safe.
The government has a responsibility for the health and well being of its citizens. As a state, our refusal to expand Medicaid and Medicare has made Texas the state with the most uninsured residents including children. It means our public hospitals serve as community clinics and we pay an emergency room rate for something as simple as a cold. It means we have the highest maternal mortality rate and highest repeat teen pregnancy rate. The state should expand healthcare access and make the lives of everyday Texans healthier and make tax payers in this district less burdened with out of control costs associated with emergency care.
Top three issues include: affordable housing, infrastructure, power generation. Our Dallas district is home to much of this growth and the lack of housing---even for those who can afford housing--has created pockets of poverty and a housing shortage. Skyrocketing property taxes have forced many residents out of their home or made a home purchase not possible. Further, our infrastructure hasn't kept up with the growth especially in the neighboring suburbs where long, congested commutes are all too common. We must invest in better public transportation options, greener and alternative options that will help urban areas meet air quality standards. Our power grid is also strained and we must look at ways to power this state through long hot summers. We must continue to build our economy with a better sense of planning that isn't just vertical but looks at the layers of growth--houses, streets, cars, water utilities, electricity--and how we sustain an economy as strong as ours.
Leadership is missing. Texas is a border state with a strong economy dependent largely on immigrant labor in industries from agriculture to medicine to child care and education. The conversation about immigration and border security is not had in one breath--I intend to be a leader who will act in the economic reality of our state, our city, and our future and not from a tired partisan line. We are a state of immigrants even Texans as generational as I. I am a proud Native Texan and am also a second generation Mexican-American on my father's side. My mother's family immigrated from Ireland. My husband is an immigrant and now a U.S. citizen. My students are often Dreamers. I live in a district where roughly one quarter of residents are foreign born, where there are up to double digit worker shortages in key areas like construction as well as the high tech industry and the medical field where skilled workers are leaving. It's time for representatives to lead with Texas' future in mind.
I am a former foster care child—that’s not unique, it’s life changing. I am the first former foster care child to run for the state legislature. I was placed into foster care at 3 and adopted at 5 with my brother. Over the course of those years, we had several foster siblings and moved from our biological parents home to our foster home and back again. It was extremely hard at such a young age and shaped me in ways I am still discovering especially now that I am a mother of two small children. Foster care taught me the value of hard work, tenacity and survival. I learned to stand up for myself, to speak out, to have faith when it seemed impossible. My experience in the system is all too common in Texas but my outcome is rare. Children in this system survive--many do not thrive. Now, I carry with me the memories of a little girl and the unfailing determination of a strong woman, wife, mom, teacher and future representative whose voice and experience will make a difference in Austin.